On this blog, there are many articles about how to have a happy marriage with a Russian bride. So, today I’m ready to share some unorthodox advice with you in this regard.

  • Why having a pet at home is good for your marriage with a Russian wife?

According to an Australian gentleman who is happily married to an elegant Russian wife, having pets at home brings benefits to their marriage.

No one understands the human-animal relationship better than the Animal Welfare League (AWL).

The AWL has been working hard for more than 50 years to help lonely dogs and cats, providing them with a second chance at happiness in a loving home. But it is important to remember it’s not all a one-way street, as what owners provide for their pets, their pets equally give back to their owners ten times over.

Pets are an important part of everyday life in Australia, and Euromonitor International has found that there are an estimated 21.9 million pets in Australia. That means Australia has almost as many pets as people, with just over 8.2 million owners. Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world – 36% of homes own a dog and 23% own a cat.

According to an Australian Companion Animal Council report, The Power of Pets, the roles pets play and their effect on our lives have been studied by scientists since the late 1960s. The most interesting and important fact about human-animal relations is that it can improve the quality of our lives. The companionship provided by pets results in 91% of owners feeling very close to their pets, and studies have shown that with pet ownership there is a marked decrease in loneliness.

A study by the University of Western Australia’s School of Population Health found that more than 50% of dog owners and 40% of pet owners meet people in their neighbourhood as a result of their pet, and more than 80% of dog owners talk to other people when out walking their dogs. These social bridges are referred to as the bond that holds society together, also known as ‘social capital’. The building of social capital is known to have good effects for society.

The positive impact of pets on the health of humans was first recognised in the early 1980s, when a study found that pet owners were much less likely to die in the 12 months following a heart attack than people who did not own pets. The study was then repeated in the mid-1990s with the same results and it is this special area of research that made the scientists take notice of the ‘pets are good for you’ idea.

Several studies have shown that pet ownership may influence the need for medical services. They have clearly shown that dog and cat owners make fewer visits to the doctor and spend less time in hospital. Pets have also been shown to greatly increase the quality of life of the elderly, including reducing worry, tiredness and confusion, and increased feelings of happiness and interest in things around them. The role of pets is significant for those who live in a nursing home and numerous studies show pets provide one of the few ways of lifting the mood of nursing homes.

More than being a simple companion, pets also aid childhood development, especially in developing social skills. It has been shown that growing up with a dog (and other pets to a lesser extent) during early childhood helps strengthen health in children and also reduces the risk of asthma. In addition, young children aged five to six in a family which owns a dog are 50% less likely to be overweight. Self-confidence has been shown to be higher in children and young adults who have a pet and school children who own pets have also been shown to be more popular with their friends and are also more caring.

  • Less sugar, happier relationship with a Russian lady

Stu is an Australian guy who is married to a mature lady from Russia. Her secret to having a youthful body is to avoid sugar.

Last month the United Kingdom made law a sugar tax on soft drinks. The tax will come into effect in 2018, with the funds to be used to address the problem of overweight children.

The evidence of the negative health impact of these products is clear, particularly with respect to surgery for bad teeth. Sugary drinks are also associated with increased energy consumption and, in turn, an increase in weight. Being overweight can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Many countries have already recognised the ability to improve population health by taxing sugary drinks. In recent years, Hungary, Mexico, France and Chile have all introduced a sugar tax. The UK law follows a similar one by South Africa earlier in 2016. Mexico introduced its tax on sugary drinks in January 2014. By the end of 2014, a 12% fall in the consumption of sugary drinks had occurred. In 2015, sales of sugary drinks decreased from 163 litres to 137 litres per person.

It’s time for Australia to follow the UK’s lead and increase the price of sugary drinks. Our PLOS ONE research examined the effect of a 20 per cent rise in the prices of sugar-based soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters on health, health-care costs and money for the Australian government. As expected, the tax would result in people buying less sugary drinks. The decreases in consumption would result in small reduction of overweight men (0.7 per cent) and 0.3 per cent in women.

According to this Russian lady, when the health benefits of these changes are modelled for the whole population over their lifetime, the influence of the tax is substantial. The findings estimate that it would reduce the number of new type 2 diabetes cases by about 800 per year. Twenty-five years after the introduction of the tax, there would be 4,400 fewer cases of heart disease and 1,100 fewer strokes. An estimated 1,600 people would be alive as a result of the tax. The savings to the health-care system would add up to A$609 million.

Even taking into account declines in consumption, the revenue collected from the tax would be more than A$400m annually. This would provide the government with a large pool of funds to support the buying of healthy food for poorer Australians, contribute to childhood overweight programs and support healthy eating.

A recent analysis of added sugar in the Australian population found that most adults and children exceed the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation for added sugar in their diets, with sugary drinks accounting for the largest amount of added sugar.

A large number of Australians support such a tax. A survey in 2012 showed that two-thirds (65 per cent) of those who took part in the survey were in favour of a tax on soft drinks if the money was used to reduce the cost of healthy food. This strong public support, together with the substantial increase in health and extra revenue that could be expected from the tax, should make it a highly attractive law for the Australian government.

“At a time when the cost of preventable disease is threatening the health system, a tax on sugary drinks is an essential part of a complete approach to address poor diets and the problem of weight.”